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Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eagles are members of the bird family Accipitridae, and belong to several genera which are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the more than 61 species occur in Eurasia and Africa.[[|[1]]] Outside this area, just two species (the Bald and Golden Eagles) can be found in the United States and Canada, nine more in Central and South America, and three in Australia.

Description Eagles are large, powerfully built birds of prey, with a heavy head and beak. Even the smallest eagles, like the Booted Eagle (which is comparable in size to a Common Buzzard or Red-tailed Hawk), have relatively longer and more evenly broad wings, and more direct, faster flight. (Despite reduced size in aerodynamic feathers) Most eagles are larger than any other raptors apart from some vultures. Species named as eagles range in size from the South Nicobar Serpent Eagle, at 500 g (1.1 lb) and 40 cm (16 in), to the 6.7 kg (14.7 lbs) Steller's Sea Eagle and the 100 cm (39 in) Philippine Eagle. Like all birds of prey, eagles have very large hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong muscular legs, and powerful talons. The beak is typically heavier than most other birds of prey. They also have extremely keen eyesight which enables them to spot potential prey from a very long distance.[[|[2]]] This keen eyesight is primarily contributed by their extremely large pupils which ensure minimal diffraction (scattering) of the incoming light. The female of all species of eagle known are larger than the male.[[|[3]]][[|[4]]]

Eagles normally build their nests, called eyries, in tall trees or on high cliffs. Many species lay two eggs, but the older, larger chick frequently kills its younger sibling once it has hatched. The dominant chick tends to be the female, as they are bigger than the male. The parents take no action to stop the killing.[[|[5]]][[|[6]]]

SpeciesEdit

[[]]EnlargeMartial Eagle in Namibia.[[]]EnlargeThermographic image of an eagle, thermoregulating using its wings.[[]]EnlargePhilippine Eagle, Pithecophaga jefferyi in Southern Philippines.[[]]EnlargeWedge Tailed Eagle in Australia.Major new research into eagle taxonomy suggests that the important genera Aquila and Hieraaetus are not composed of nearest relatives, and it is likely that a reclassification of these genera will soon take place, with some species being moved to Lophaetus or Ictinaetus.[[|[7]]]

FAMILY ACCIPITRIDAE

[[]]EnlargeA Steppe Eagle in Lahore Zoo Pakistan.**Genus Aquila

[[]]EnlargeShort-toed Snake Eagle in flight*Subfamily Circaetinae: snake-eagles

Eagles in cultureEdit

The modern English name of the bird is derived from the Latin term aquila by way of the French aigle. The Latin aquila may derive from the word aquilus, meaning dark-colored, swarthy, or blackish, as a description of the eagle's plumage; or from aquilo, the Latin version of Greek boreas, or north wind; however, aquilus and aquilo may just as well derive from aquila (or be unrelated) and the latter be of unknown origin.

Old English used the term earn, related to Scandinavia's ørn / örn. The etymology of this word relates it to Greek ornís, meaning "bird", though other Indo-European languages (such as Welsh eryr or Russian orël / орёл) show that the meaning 'eagle' is older. The Greek word may be an old diminutive. The Albanian word for eagle is "shqiponje" deriving from the root "shqipe", which means "eagle".

In Britain before 1678, eagle referred specifically to the Golden Eagle, with the other native species, the White-tailed Eagle, being known as the Erne. The modern name "Golden Eagle" for aquila chrysaetos was introduced by the naturalist John Ray. &nbsp

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